I love having natural light in the kitchen during the day, thanks to the glass door to the garden. The Harlem kitchen was a dark tunnel. That kitchen also had a muddy brown marble countertop and I could never see if it was dirty or not - that might have been the whole idea, but it bothered me. Now we have a mix of butcher block on one side and ordinary formica on the other, but it's white; we do have to keep it dry, otherwise it can stain, but phew, visually it is a relief.
Forced hyacinths are being sold at almost every deli on nearby Court Street, now. I unpack them from their plastic pot, snip off most of the white roots, repot them in the cheap Turkish ceramic bowl above and give them a careful drink. They last about two weeks. At night their scent is so strong that I move them onto the sill of the little sash window in the kitchen so that we can smell supper.
The days are noticeably longer now, even though the biggest cold of our winter is coming our way, this weekend. The buds and bulbs that have emerged in our complicatedly mild winter are in for a bad shock.